With the continued surged in the number of new Covid-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, parents were now wary of sending their children back to school.
"My son's life matters to me more than his education. I have decided not to send my son to school when they reopen on January 17. We face many problems in online teaching but we will still not send our child to school," said Ruchi Arora, a young mother.
She said that her eight-year-old son who studies in Class three cannot be expected to follow Covid protocols.
"Children play with each other, share their tiffin and do not use sanitizers regularly. In fact, they wear the mask only when the teachers say so. How can we take chances in such a situation?" she asked.
Parents are also concerned because most children use buses or rickshaws to go to school.
"There are multiple children in rickshaws and school buses. Sanitization is not done properly and there is no supervisor either. We cannot afford to drop and pick up the child in our car because petrol prices have gone up. The risk is therefore greater," said Sunita Kapoor, a mother of three in Prayagraj.
Most schools in the state, have now decided to continue in hybrid mode when schools reopen.
"The situation is highly unpredictable. Some parents are hoping for physical classes to prevent learning gaps while others are reluctant and want their kids to stay home," said the principal of a private school in Lucknow.
"Over the last few days, the attendance has dipped. Parents having children in 15-18 age group are eagerly waiting for the vaccination of their wards before they send them to school. We will resume online classes till the situation eases."